“My life is like a movie. I do my own stunts.” ~Lil Wayne
I am not a Lil Wayne fan. However, this short and poignant quote touched my soul. I like the position he takes with his words–active, aggressive, in charge and true to himself. I dig that.
Viewing your life from the posture of both star and screenwriter of your own personal box office masterpiece as opposed to a spectator sitting in the audience taking it all in with a bag of popcorn, could be the genesis of a new you. That one small paradigm shift could alter the trajectory of your life forever.
Life from the audience
Life from the spectator’s vantage point is safe, uneventful, and very neutral. It allows us to engage in experiences from a distance. We can participate in a precarious situation yet walk away unscathed–nothing lost and nothing gained. The danger of the spectator lifestyle is that there is a level of disengagement that absolves us from taking any responsibility for the things that happen around us and more importantly to us.
The best part of sitting in the audience is once the show is over you get to critique the performance. The actors’ performances, the cinematography, the musical score, the storyline and plot are all there waiting to be ripped apart, scrutinized, and dismissed by you–a mere mortal with no “skin in the game.” The professional football world refers to this as “Monday morning quarterbacking.” As time progresses, you become increasingly more pious and critical of others. However, when you are faced with a set of circumstances where you must play a role, you excuse your mistakes, feel sorry for yourself and blame others for your tragic failures.
Becoming the screenwriter and star of your life requires you to “do your own stunts.” You must stop daydreaming and living vicariously through others and actively participate. The failures, mistakes, bruises, and scars are worth it. The late, great Jackie Robinson put it like this:
“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.“
Life as a scriptwriter and star
Accepting and embracing the fact that you are the star of your own life with creative control over the script is crucial to living a purposeful and fulfilled life with no regrets. You must understand and accept the fact that you alone determine the overall success or failure of your life.
Being the star and creative force of your life gives you the ability to rewrite the script at a moment’s notice, altering the plot, setting or theme at your discretion. You get to cast and recast your own characters, determine their roles and cut them due to “creative differences,” when necessary. And then there are the plot twists. Sometimes you get to author your own plot twist and sometimes they are authored for you. Either way, a good plot twist makes an excellent movie.
Headlining your life requires a few things. First is audacity. You need to be bold enough to face fear and failure and proceed anyway. Second, you need a vision. Life without vision is akin to a movie without a plot–both are a pointless waste of time. Develop a vision for your life and let it serve as the theme that guides your plot. The last thing you need is perseverance. You have to stick with it in order to make it to the final curtain call. With these attributes and the recognition that a life lived from the audience is no life at all, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.
Featured photo credit: BagoGames via flickr.com